2009 F1 testing: March 12th (update: pictures and video added)

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Even the Force Indias have been giving the McLarens a run for their money

It’s the final official test day at the Circuit de Catalunya before the 2009 F1 season gets started in Australia.

There’s a huge amount of speculation about what’s going on at McLaren. Compiling all the best times from the Barcelona test sees the MP4-24 down in 16th and 19th.

But what about the other teams? Who’s fastest, who’s reliable – and who’s not? Follow the final F1 testing day below.

Today’s testing line-up

It’s mostly the same line-up as yesterday but Rubens Barrichello takes over from Jenson Button in the Brawn GP car:

Toyota – Timo Glock
Ferrari – Felipe Massa
McLaren – Lewis Hamilton
Brawn GP – Rubens Barrichello
Red Bull – Sebastian Vettel
Toro Rosso – Sebastien Buemi
Williams – Nico Rosberg
Renault – Fernando Alonso
BMW – Robert Kubica
Force India – Adrian Sutil

Overall times so far

Here are each drivers best times from the three days of the test so far:

1 Jenson Button Brawn GP BGP001 1’19.’127
2 Felipe Massa Ferrari F60 1’20.168 +1.041
3 Robert Kubica BMW F1.09 1’20.217 +1.090
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari F60 1’20.314 +1.187
5 Nick Heidfeld BMW F1.09 1’20.338 +1.211
6 Timo Glock Toyota TF109 1’20.410 +1.283
7 Fernando Alonso Renault R29 1’20.863 +1.736
8 Kazuki Nakajima Williams FW31 1’20.907 +1.780
9 Jarno Trulli Toyota TF109 1’20.937 +1.810
10 Rubens Barrichello Brawn GP BGP001 1’20.966 +1.839
11 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull RB5 1’21.165 +2.038
12 Nico Rosberg Williams FW31 1’21.324 +2.197
13 Mark Webber Red Bull RB5 1’21.347 +2.220
14 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India VJM02 1’21.545 +2.418
15 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso STR4 1’21.569 +2.442
16 Lewis Hamilton McLaren MP4-24 1’21.657 +2.530
17 Nelson Piquet Jnr Renault R29 1’21.662 +2.535
18 Adrian Sutil Force India VJM02 1’21.834 +2.707
19 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren MP4-24 1’21.991 +2.864
20 Sebastien Bourdais Toro Rosso STR4 1’22.158 +3.031

Video from today’s test

Pictures from today’s test

Live timing

Try the following sites for live lap times (various languages):

Also keep an eye on BBC report Lee McKenzie’s Twitter account as she’ll be reporting from the test.

If you find any more good sites for following testing lap times, please post details below. If you’ve got images or video to share you can upload them to the F1 Fanatic drop.io.

Further updates will be posted in the comments and any images or video from today’s testing will be added here.

2009 F1 testing

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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119 comments on “2009 F1 testing: March 12th (update: pictures and video added)”

  1. Hmmm that McLaren is rather low down the list… I guess Melbourne will answer the my questions.

    1. In an interview with Pedro de la Rosa, he said that the lack of pace was due to McLaren testing out parts for the 2010 specifications, which included no tyre warmers and a heavy fuel load due to the ban of refueling.

  2. any english sites were i can follow practice live ?

  3. Its just next to impossible that there is something fundamentally wrong with the car. I think they have learnt from past mistakes. I mean if this turns out to be the true pace of the car there is no point in following the rest of the season. Mclaren, i belive have one of the largest fan base around the world. If this turns out to be sandbagging fine or else they would have not only let themselves down but also the fans like me. But i still think its sandbagging.

    1. Fans are usually quick to adopt one of the teams fighting for the championship as their most popular team. If not McLaren then they will root for BMW or Renault (assuming Ferrari still stays there).

      I was at two races in Italy in the Renault (Alonso) vs McLaren (Raikkonen) year when Ferrari had produced a dud. I was amazed at how few Ferrari shirts where walking around. All of a sudden there were masses of blue shirts.

  4. The Button’s time was made jumping the chicane?

  5. Massa’s stints yesterday were impressive. I doubt anyone can challenge Ferrari drivers at first races at least.

    1. Until they put their KERS into the car a couple of races later…

  6. test today is delayed due to fog

  7. So in the next step is mclaren gonna take sutil from force india to partner hamilton if does well this season..?

  8. According to f1-today Lewis had a long conversation/meeting yesterday evening with the team engineers lasting around 3 hours.

    It’s starting to look more and more like there is a geniune problem – hopefully they can nail it this week and then turn up at Jerez with some new parts (diffuser in particular) and wipe the floor.

    1. McLaren won’t be at Jerez, I don’t think. Nor will any other team save for Brawn GP.

  9. Trepenator even if thats the case then Button would lay 3rd in overall with a 1:20.313

  10. Does anyone know who was running KERS during these tests?

  11. Lewis doesn’t strike me as a car improving kinda driver. Hey but thats just my opinion. This would be the real test for Lewis and Mac, if they really do have a crappy car. I would really like to see how things would pan out.

    Jenson’s looking pretty fast for a team just out of the blocks, hopefully all that work they did last would finally pay off. Like Ross Brawn said, the Mercedes engines fit the car the better compared to Ferrari, which was why they picked it. Hence they may not have had too much work trying to retro fit the car with it.

  12. I think it is true that Lewis is not that wonderful car improving driver. Not as much as Shumi was, not as Alonso is.
    Ferrari’s duo also doesn’t work that good.

    I’m still missing a convicted opinion about McLaren defaillance. Yesterday I read a line from Ron Dennis, he was saying no problems. But it is really unusual the slow they run just two weeks before the starts.

  13. I meant convinced.
    Some of Freudian Slip…:-D

  14. Another update from BMW – new diffusor:


    1. link is broken..
      anyone else with this problem?

  15. Does anybody know if Brawn GP are using KERS?

    Re the BGP001 and its test times, don’t forget that they would have been able to do a lot of track work on that car during the 2008 season…

    1. How exactly? They were competing as Honda F1 – okay they no doubt tested many parts (other than the very visible tests of the 09 front wing) bolted onto their old car, but they wouldn’t have been able to give the BGP001 (or RA109 as it would have been) a run out as it wasn’t built…

    2. Adrian, apparently they were working on the BGP001 from sometime in 2007. I imagine they very well could have been running an interrim 09 car last year during private/straight line in-season tests.

    3. Brawn said in an interview that they are not working on a KERS. It’s probably going to be the only car that won’t have KERS at all all year — of course, if it did not end up helping the other teams, more of them might decide to sit it out as well.

  16. good to see brawn GP looking strong

  17. @ Alastair
    there’s an interview with brawn on autosport – they currently have no KERS apparently.

  18. Rosberg goes fastest today with the 2nd fastest time this week: 1:19.774

  19. Brawn are not using KERS at the minute.

    @ Trepenator if thats the case Jenson ran a 1:20.313 as his next fastest lap.

  20. To me the time sheet signifies that McLaren do not have ability to make a good car from the scratch. They need another stolen data of their rivals. The drivers they’ve got are not good or experienced enough to produce a good car.

    1. Don’t talk rubbish. I assume you are alluding crudely to the Ferrari spygate fiasco. Their car was checked by the FIA in 2007 and then again before the 2008 season and no misappropriation of IP was found whatsoever – that’s probably why they weren’t kicked completely and “only” given a fine. You also show a lack of understanding of F1 – you cannot just take data and designs from one car and magically fit them to/make them work on another – the balance is different, different aero parts would not work well together etc. The only way the Ferrari data could have helped them would be if they built a carbon copy of the Ferrari car and ran that.

      Don’t forget that the MP4-22 and 23 had an amazing lineage, going back to the MP4-19b designed by Newey.

    2. Because thats exactly what they did in 1998 and 1999 lmao

  21. Don’t deny possibilities that they can get some idea out of others data – weight and brake balance distribution etc.

    1. I would’ve thought that stuff was simple enough for any team to work out themselves, and using the braking or weight distribution setups from another car would ruin the others balance as each car is so different.

  22. see that’s an issue, the old cars were newey design, he’s gone and redbull now look good… seen newey’s latest invention – his shark fin idea – now connected to the rear wing

    its midday in spain and mclaren have only done 15 laps… not a big deal, still very early and most teams are under 40 laps.

  23. There is an interview on autosport with Alonso, which says that Brawn GP are ahead of its rivals along another 4 teams, and that there pace is genuine, not to attract attention. Hope this is true :)

    1. Interview here — thanks for mentioning it!

  24. It’s very likely that Ross Brawn saw that the 2008 Honda was a Lost Cause and decided to write the 2008 season off in favour of the 2009 car. He even said as much last year.
    They would have got to work on the car as soon as the rules were published and would have had a prototype 2009 spec car running round the Honda Testing facility for most of last year, not to mention all the CFD and Wind Tunnel work. There were reports that the reason Honda freaked out and ran was because Ross had poured so much money into the 2009 car during 2008. Ross is no fool. He turned Ferrari around when he joined them and there’s no reason why he can’t have done the same for Honda.

    IMO the BGP001 is one of the most-tested cars on the grid and the speed we are seeing could well be a reflection of its true potentail. I hope so anyway.

    1. I’m sorry but there’s no way Honda testing an 09 spec car last year wouldn’t have been reported. Honda aren’t Ferrari, they don’t have their own testing facility.

    2. Adrian: Honda owns Suzuka

  25. @Phil – If indeed BGP car is showing its real pace, the whole humbug about “design philosophy” designing a car considering engine, weight distribution and all the engineering dirt that teams kick in eyes of media and fans falls flat on its face. If team that didn’t even knew whose engine they will be bolting on to their car can bolt a customer enginer and get on pace straight out of chute, One can’t stop and wonder, if team with immense resources couldn’t have used ideas from the 700 page dossier.
    Its a different issue if McLaren confess their team is dud enough not to able to corelate any information worth skimming.

    Its like statement in past decade “Oh yes I read playboy for good articles” :P

    1. Engines are so close to being homoglated though I believe that to be a pretty moot point.

      Seriously, there are only so many ways you can package up a V8 engine, as evidenced by Force India and BGP being able to swap out without too much fuss.

    2. Not to mention STR. They even win a race with a car designed around a different engine.

  26. brawn GP + jenson + merc, wow..
    like this, bravo england man

  27. I read on autosport where Ross Brawn said that there was no way Honda could have had any owner apart from him.

    I am rather thinking; Ross was more than happy to buy the Brackeley team. He knew the potential of the car. And who better than he himself to reap the benefits.
    Ross might have even got the team out of Honda at cheap price given Honda’s desperation to pull out of the sport.

    Pure tactical genius; this guy is.

  28. Apparently Ross rejected the Ferrari engine because the Mercedes was easier to fit into the car.
    As Phil says, the engines are all pretty much the same right now. What matters most this year is Aero, then tyres, then KERS (which BGP are not using).

    OMG can you just imagine Jens beating Lewis… using the same engine?!?!?

    1. Bet fernando alonso wishes he went to honda now!

  29. Without trying to reopen all the spygate arguments, didn’t the Ferrari dossier only get passed to Coughlan in about April 2007, a long time after the 2007 cars had been designed and tested. And considering McLarens long history of success, I always assume F1 fans who say things like McLaren need stolen data to design a winning car are joking.

    1. Agreed completely, most people who make such sour comments are jealous of mclarens success. I don’t like ferrari, but i don’t accuse them of cheating even though the stewards decisions always seem to go their way. All teams spy on each other, McLaren just got caught!

  30. well they all say jb is a smooth driver this year we will be able to see what he really can do

  31. It is strange how people support a driver who does not see traffic lights and bangs up from behind. He goes on to become world champion and the country laps him up. I guess they are short of heroes, so anyone is acceptable. We shall see his real worth this year in a slow car.

    1. It’s strange how this driver, regardless of his mistakes, goes on and scores more points that anybody else, thus making him chanpion, people like you make me yawn!

    2. Chris,
      we have a driver that won the world championship and has scored more points than any over driver over the last two years. Yes, it’s true he made several mistakes. But regardless of how much you like him or not, he is clearly a tremendously talented individual. You just have to look at the GP2 for that.

      As for not having any heroes, how about our most successful 2008 Olympic team for 100 years or European Champions Manchester United?

      Also, why is it that everybody always has a go at Hamilton because he’s in a fast car, but never Massa or Raikkonen? In case you hadn’t noticed, they’re in fast cars too!

    3. And where do you come from Chris?

    4. Chris,

      And you are a fan of which driver? Can you seriously say that driver hasn’t made a series of bad mistakes?

    5. @James,

      Massa and Raikkonen both got their start at Sauber. Alonso got started at Minardi; even Kovalainen, although he started at Renault, had a dog of a car to drive.

  32. heres a thought is the branw cars front nose a lot like a ferrari f2003????????? i think ul find it is. nice car there brawn gp

  33. @djdaveyp, Alonso is sandbagging too. LOL

  34. I am not a supporter of either team. As a neutral person the spygate will always be talked about till end of the sport ( Just like Mosley’s Spankgate :P)

  35. Wahey! McLaren FINALLY post a time under 1:21 ah now there’s something they can be truly proud of :P

    1. Actually that’s Heidfeld, so they must of tested that earlier in the week.
      My bad.

  36. Please ban the shark fins too, they’re proper ugly.

  37. +1 banning shark fins ftw

  38. I REALLY hope Brawn are not as fast as they seem to be – meaning that they have a dominating car.
    You may like Button (or Barrichello) as much as you want, but in all honesty you know that those drivers don’t deserve a WC title. If it came to that…

    1. Why not? Best car+ not best driver has happened not far ago… ;-)

    2. Not really a fair statement – you can have the most dominating car and not win the Championship. David Coulthard wasn’t even close to Hakinnen in the 1998 standings given the dominant Newey-McLaren. Fisichella should’ve been closer to Alonso in the 2005 and 2006 campaigns as well.

      A World Championship means you won against everyone else, end of. There’s always going to be odd seasons with a dominant car – but it’s still up to the driver to bring it home.

    3. Button’s never seemed to have a genuine chance to prove himself, unlike rubens at ferrari. Other than last year, Button’s been faster than his team mates most of the time. His performance may surprise people as much as his car’s this year.

  39. baro. just gone into 1.18s

  40. “you know that those drivers don’t deserve a WC title. If it came to that…”

    how can you say that? please explain how they don’t?

  41. Barrichello has just done a 1’18”926 in the Brawn GP!!!

    1. According to Wikipedia, that’s a new lap record for the circuit.


  42. Barrichello deserves a world title ten times more than Massa ever will

    1. Yes, would be an excellent reward after his years serving schumi…

    2. I mean Barrichelo :-)
      Massa, well may be later…

  43. At this rate the 2 Brawn GP cars will have finished the race in Melbourne, and done the press conference before the next car crosses the line!

    Its about time these 2 drivers have some luck, and with Brawn behind them I think this may be their year. Lets hope so anyway

  44. Glad i took those bets earlier with William Hill, have Brawn GP for constructors championship @ 50/1 and Jenson to win @ Melbourne 16/1 or Rubens to win at Melbourne 40/1 :)

    1. I got 10/1 for Jenson winning a race this season… should have put more on.

  45. yeah setting some great lap times, both cars with both drivers are sticking it out almost 1 second faster than anyone else. sure they aren’t screwing around, they don’t have the luxury of time to sandbag and play games, they have to do their job, let everyone see their hand and go hard while they can.

    every other team has done lots of testing, knows their pace and they can sandbag and play games. but they do have some good pace, and they dont have kers, worst case i’d be happy to see them in the mid field, fighting for top 10 and points.

    anything is better than last year, they can hardly step backwards.

  46. Nico also outstands!!!
    I think they put up a qualifying set up to test the best.

    Anyway the results of the last weeks is that there is a car that is clearly the fastest, and this is Brown GP, noobody can say if they’re cheatiing or not.
    BMW showed great reliability, Ferrari still have some problems, Renault and Toyota did a good work this winter…and McLaren is a mystere.

  47. Hi guys! I hope brawn can make something out of this season if not to win a championship – tehnicaly they are an independat team so you have cheer for them! It would be a great thimg for sport.

  48. Go Rubens! :)

    I know you can’t read too much into test times, but raw pace is raw pace and good lord, that Brawn’s got plenty.

    Honda must be kicking themselves.

    Rubens for WDC09! :P

  49. No wonder Rubens is happy to only be paid travel expenses plus bonus for points – based on this week he’s gonna rake it in!!

  50. At the end of the day you have to think about it this way, Ruben’s and Button in Race simulation yesterday and today were around late 1.21’s to early 1.20’s so thats fuelled, and today Rubens bust the 1.18’s. The rear end of the pack are only just scrapin into the 1.21’s (FI and STR) so does that mean the Brawn GP is just plain fast or that FI and STR are staying laden/sandbagging or just slow in comparison. Either which way you look at it 1:18.926 is FAST around Barcelona. (I’m secretly hoping they were still running with some more fuel in the tanks too) looking on F1.com Kimi held the lap record in competition with a 1:21.670 timed last year.

  51. Well,

    Brawn is quick, but that’s not a track record. According to:


    during last year’s test (April) there were several teems doing the sub 1:19 times – including Honda and
    Renault. As you remember none of those teems was fast in the begining of 2008 seson.

    Still, 2009 cars can be slower – so you never know ;-)

    1. http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/66658

      Rubens was on slicks when he got 1:18.928 last April.

  52. well if this year if mclaren clogged up the car this year it should be interesting to see how lewis will do driving a fairly off the time car. it show what he is capable of as a driver and whether he is generally a fast racing driver.

  53. Hamilton – totally out of his depth.

    Perhaps another season at GP2 level is what he needs.

    It’s drivers the calibre of Button and RB that shine through in circumstances like these..

    1. mate,
      think you should do your histora because Hamilton is a very very talented driver

    2. That’s because for some reason the Brawn car is stupendous in testing. If Lewis was in that car, expect the times to be even faster. Not a very sensible commment I’d say.

    3. MF – Either drop the trolling or find yourself another F1 website please.

    4. Haha, take it easy children! Talk about taking silly comments personally… Let the guy have his uninformed opinion! :)

  54. I’d not pay to much attention to the speed of a car looking for sponsorship in a non-scrutineered session. I really do hope they are as quick as it appears, but I must admit being sceptical.

  55. Press releases

    Toto Rosso

    Sebastien Buemi
    Chassis: STR4-02
    Best time: 1:21.013
    Laps: 62

    Sebastien Bourdais
    Chassis: STR4-02
    Best time: 1:21.629
    Laps: 27

    Next stop Melbourne For several teams this was the last test of the winter, while for Scuderia Toro Rosso’s new car it was both the first and the last test.

    Having driven over two race distances yesterday, Buemi completed his programme this morning, continuing with development work on the car.

    The team then decided to switch Sebs, putting Bourdais back in the car for the afternoon. This was because the Frenchman had driven on the first two days, when technical problems had seriously restricted his running time. Therefore he was given this opportunity to put in more laps, now that the initial teething troubles on the car had been sorted out.

    The team heads back home to Italy with plenty of data to study and work to do, prior to the first race of the season in Melbourne on 29th March.

    Force India

    The Force India Formula One Team concluded its winter testing programme today at the Circuit de Catalunya, Spain. Giancarlo Fisichella brought the programme to a productive close with a simulation of a race weekend. After a delayed start due to foggy weather Giancarlo conducted initial set-up checks before launching into qualifying runs before the lunchtime pause. In the afternoon the Italian moved onto longer runs and put in a full race distance. Over the course of the day, he completed 141 laps with a fastest lap of 1min 21.045.

    The team will now move back to its Silverstone base to consolidate the data gained over the two tests and begin final preparations for the Australian Grand Prix in just over two weeks’ time. Tonio Liuzzi will conduct a shakedown of the second chassis at Silverstone circuit on Tuesday.

    Giancarlo Fisichella
    It’s been a good day with 141 laps. We went in the right direction with some set-up work and the car was very reliable so we could really start to work on the balance. It’s not so bad we just could do with some more aero grip. We didn’t do the best lap time when the circuit was at its peak in the morning otherwise we could have improved the time, perhaps a 20.5, but overall I feel comfortable. It’s quite encouraging, we now know where we need to improve.

    James Key, technical director
    It was a very good conclusion to the eight days of testing. Over the week we have completed more than 2,000km and have a very strong basis to start the season from. We don’t have any major concerns and the car is now very reliable so we can really start to look at areas that will improve performance. Giancarlo ran a second race distance without any issues and tried both tyre compounds. In more representative temperatures today they behaved very well and seemed to be good over longer runs. The drivers seem to be happy and, with this in mind, we can concentrate on seeking out the improvements that will move us forward.

    Testing data
    Driver: Giancarlo Fisichella
    Track: Circuit de Catalunya, Spain
    Best lap time: 1min 21.045
    Laps completed: 141
    Kilometres completed: 656km
    Air temperature: High of 18C
    Track temperature: High of 32C
    Weather: Foggy in the morning but cleared to warm, sunny conditions


    Weather conditions: Heavy fog early morning, sunny for the rest of the day.
    Temperature: Air: 8 – 19 °C, Track: 10 – 26 °C
    Number of drivers participating: 11 from 10 teams
    Fastest lap overall: Rubens Barrichello (Brawn GP) 1:18.926 min
    Circuit length: 4.655 km

    Robert Kubica
    Chassis / engine: BMW Sauber F1.09-04 / BMW 86/9
    Test kilometres today: 624 (134 laps)
    Fastest lap: 1:20.740 min

    The last day of the BMW Sauber F1 Team’s pre-season testing started with a delay of more than an hour due to heavy fog. When the sun had finally burnt through Robert Kubica did a race simulation that included start procedures and pit stops. After the lunch break Kubica continued to evaluate different solutions for the BMW Sauber F1.09’s set-up in advance of the Australian Grand Prix. Today he covered 134 laps, bringing the car’s total mileage for the four Barcelona test days to 2,162 kms.

    Willy Rampf, BMW Sauber F1 Team Technical Coordinator, said: “Our final pre-season test was very productive. We worked on the mechanical set-up of the car as well as the aero configuration. In addition, we also improved our KERS. Our second goal was to prepare for the season’s first Grand Prix in two weeks in Melbourne. We simulated a proper race day on Tuesday with Nick Heidfeld and today with Robert Kubica, each covering a complete race distance without any technical problems. That tells us a lot about the reliability of the BMW Sauber F1.09.”

    1. Toto Rosso = Toro Rosso :)

  56. Red Bull

    Driver: Sebastian Vettel
    Car: RB5 – 03
    Laps: 83
    Best time: 1:20.576
    Circuit length: 4.655 km
    Fastest lap: R. Barrichello – 1:18.926

    Sebastian Vettel was at the wheel of the RB5 today, as the team completed its final day of testing ahead of the 2009 season-opener, taking place in Australia later this month.

    Foggy weather prevented teams from running for the first one and a half hours of the testing session, but then conditions brightened and were sunny and warm for the rest of the day.

    The team tested some development parts, but mainly concentrated on final set-up work ahead of the first race in Melbourne. “Overall this week’s test has gone pretty well,” commented Ian Morgan, Head of Race Engineering. “We’ve been pleased with our reliability throughout the winter, but looking to performance it’s hard to know where we stand until we get out on the track in Melbourne. We’re looking forward to it and can’t wait to start racing again.”


    Panasonic Toyota Racing today completed its preparations for the 2009 Formula 1 season at the last day of this week’s test in Barcelona. Fog delayed proceedings for an hour this morning but after that the sun came out at the Catalan circuit. Timo Glock reaped the benefits, putting in yet another full session of work on set-up. He finished with 128 laps, pushing the team’s total for the week past the 500 mark. On his very last lap he stopped on the circuit with a mechanical problem that the team will now investigate. This ends Toyota’s winter programme. The team’s next action will be in Melbourne for the first grand prix of 2009 on March 29.

    Timo Glock – Chassis TF109-04
    Position: 3rd of 11
    Best lap time: 1min 20.091s (+1.165s)
    Total laps: 128

    “This was another useful day to round off our good winter of testing. We did more work on set-up and long runs and everything went well until the very last lap! Still, overall the car feels strong and we seem to have good pace so we can look forward to Australia. Of course we’ll only see the real results on Saturday in Melbourne but everyone at Toyota can be happy with our work so far. We’ve made fine progress so roll on the first race.”

    Gerd Pfeiffer, Test Team Manager
    “After the fog cleared this morning, we had another good day’s work to finish our winter programme. Timo made the most of the conditions, putting in a lot more laps of set-up on the TF109. He stopped on his last lap so we will now have to investigate the cause. But overall, given this year’s in-season testing ban it was important that we had a positive winter and that’s exactly what has happened. We have made the most of the limited time, the TF109 has been quick and consistent so we can head to Melbourne with confidence.”

    Brawn GP

    Date Thursday 12 March
    Track Circuit de Catalunya
    Driver Rubens Barrichello

    No of Laps 110 laps
    Best Lap Time 1:18.926
    Kilometres Covered 512km
    Track Length 4.655km

    Weather Sunny after a foggy start
    Ambient Temperature Maximum 19°C
    Track Temperature Maximum 26°C

    Brawn GP’s Rubens Barrichello headed the field in testing at the Circuit de Catalunya today, replicating the feat of team-mate Jenson Button yesterday. Back at the wheel of the BGP 001 car for the fourth and final day of this week’s programme, Rubens brought the team’s first pre-season test to a successful conclusion.

    Once the heavy fog which delayed the start of running around the Spanish circuit cleared, Rubens successfully ran through a full 66-lap race distance with pit stops and using both compounds of the Bridgestone Potenza slick tyres. The car proved reliable once again with Rubens setting competitive lap times over the three stints. The afternoon saw Rubens complete a series of qualifying simulations during which he set the fastest time of the week – a 1:18.926.

    The team will resume testing in Jerez on 15 March for a final three-day test before the start of the 2009 Formula One season at Albert Park in Melbourne on 29 March.

    “I’m very pleased with the mileage that we have achieved today and the completion of another full race distance. The qualifying exercises were also very useful in enabling the team and I to get fully up to speed and ready for Melbourne. The car has proved fast and reliable throughout the week so we go to Jerez feeling positive and pleased with the results of our first test outing.”

    “We are extremely pleased with the inaugural test of the BGP 001 car in Barcelona this week. The team made a very late start to our pre-season testing programme with only seven days in which to run the car before the first race in Melbourne, therefore our focus has been on reliability and achieving as much mileage as possible. Both of these aims have been successfully achieved this week. That the car has run so reliably ‘out of the box’ is a tribute to the strong team that we have at our factory in Brackley and they have done a great job during a very difficult period. The car is performing to our expectations and the feedback from Jenson and Rubens has been positive with both drivers completing full race distances. We have three further days of testing in Jerez next week to complete our preparations for the first race and I look forward to seeing how the car progresses from here.”

    RESULTS (All timings are unofficial)

    Pos Driver Team Time Laps
    1. Rubens Barrichello Brawn GP 1:18.926 110
    2. Nico Rosberg Williams 1:19.774 120
    3. Timo Glock Toyota 1:20.091 128
    4. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:20.576 83
    5. Fernando Alonso Renault 1:20.664 64
    6. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:20.677 92
    7. Robert Kubica BMW 1:20.740 134
    8. Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:20.869 70
    9. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso 1:21.013 62
    10. Giancarlo Fisichella Force India 1:21.045 141
    11. Sebastien Bourdais Toro Rosso 1:21.629 27


    Sam Michael, Technical Director, Williams F1:
    “After an initial delay due to fog this morning, we spent our last day in Barcelona completing another useful session working mainly on the optimisation of set-up around the slick tyres, something that will be key to this year’s championship. We have made progress over the four days and now look forward to our final test in Jerez next week where we will sign off some more parts for Melbourne. The lap times are close at the moment making it difficult to predict the order – great for the sport!”

    Nico Rosberg:

    “We’ve put in a lot of laps this week and have definitely made good progress. Our schedule has mainly focussed on mechanical and aero testing, of which there was lots to learn because there are so many new concepts and designs this year. It’s difficult to judge where everyone is because the times are quite close, but we have one more test next week which will be an advantage.”

    Kazuki Nakajima:

    “It was another good test for the team. No major issues came up and the car was really consistent all week. We also completed a race simulation and did qualifying runs as well, which was good. We’ll cover any outstanding work we need to do during the one remaining pre-season test next week in Jerez and then look forward to the season actually starting!”

  57. StrFerrari4Ever
    12th March 2009, 20:12

    well i had a feeling when they launched Brawn GP they looked to be fast i even commented on an article here well tis good to see them going so well if Alonso is saying they are up there with Ferrari And BMW then they certainly have a good car well i read that STR article on their site Keith and well he maybe right saying dont start talking about our performance just yet i hope they spring a surprise in Melbourne that would be awesome and Mclaren seem to be in hot soup dont you think because their sandbagging cant come to this level well will see in Melbourne :)

  58. I still find it hard to believe that the Brawn is that fast. For arguement’s sake, if the car isn’t running “race legal” would being underweight make it so much faster, or something else?

    I equally find it hard to believe that McLaren is so slow. Surely though, the benefits of “sandbagging” would be less than simply getting on with the job, so they must have some problems.

    1. Something else as no revs limit.

      I’m pretty sure Brawn is not that fast.

      But they seem to have a good car for the championship.

  59. Eduardo Colombi
    12th March 2009, 20:44

    Poor Bruno Senna, can you imagine how frustrated hi is right now?

    About Hamilton: sure he is a talented driver, but hi is not cool in a mentally way, he is too “greedy” because of his few timed expirience do to his youth. With the years passing maybe he’ll be next to Alonso someday (the best driver for me nowadays).

  60. Can anyone explain the strange front wheel covers on the FI car pictured? I think they are similar to the covers on Ferrari, etc, to assist brake cooling, but they actually extend around to the front of the tires.

    Very strange!

    As for BrawnGP test times…..I’m ecstatic. Here’s hoping they can deliver in race trim, but I really think it’s geared to the sponsor hunt. Any team news is marketing news as far as sponsors go.

  61. On mclaren, could their “issues” just be on KERS, and they’ve had to whack the revs down, would be interesting to see some speeds from the speed traps.

    And they were setting quick time in Jerez a few weeks ago, albeit with the 08′ wing i know. And maybe a slight issues with rear downforce, delayed showing of 09′ rear wing may be reason. But doing few laps each day must mean there cant be a serious problem

    And “quick” cars i’ve seen have no supporting struts on the rear wing, mclaren do, coincidence, im not sure.

    1. + 1

      Keith; can you get the speed trap speeds of different cars over the course of this test. That is a good indicator of how fast/slow the car is.

    2. @sumedh

      aparently massa is 8kmph faster down the straight than button – which they are assuming is from kers.

  62. Any sponsors for Brawn GP? Please line up. :D

  63. Good on ya Brawn GP! What a fantastic prelude to the season. I sincerely hope your pace is indicative.
    A bit of a puzzle to see McLaren where they are. I can’t believe for a minute, at least any more, that they are ‘sandbagging’. This would be the time to deliver a psychological blow to your rivals by banging in hot laps at will. If you have the pace that is.
    On reflection though, Brawn have nothing to lose and everything to learn about their package so it’s tune for maximum data on the limit.
    Whereas the other teams already have testing miles under their wheels they are all experimenting with variations and Melbourne setups.
    Still, doesn’t look good for McLaren. Maybe this will be their Renault year…

  64. Renault’s look is really starting to grow on me. The new cars remind me of classic 70s cars with the thinkness of the nose and the height of the rear wing. The “Bulkyness” so to say of the Renault looks the most classic resembling.

    The livery is still crap!

  65. theRoswellite
    13th March 2009, 1:56

    Much Shock-‘n-Awe:

    If the BGP can hold anything like this pace into the season it will enliven our same ole horse race………….new blood…at the front no less. Excuse my enthusiasm, it has been a very long time since we had any authentic threat to the Red-‘n-Silver Show, and I’ll have plenty of time to come back to reality.

    Also, someone in Britain tell me how the odds have changed on Jenson for WC.

  66. Up to now I’ve only seen one BGP car, are they still building the other one – or have I missed something?

  67. theRoswellite
    13th March 2009, 3:52

    Oh, one other comment………

    Ross seems to have a fair amount of available advertising space on his new car, perhaps he should approach Honda about the opportunity.

    1. Umm… BGP is using Merc engines. Why would Honda sponsor them?

  68. I think that JB said last week that they only had one car assembled for the Barcelona test. I guess they must have been taking it easy then, after all, they couldn’t afford to put it in the barriers could they? How much more is there to come?

  69. Barichello had the best time overall this week or am I wrong?

  70. I think the best thing for Mclaren right now is to race without KERS. They need to move some of the balance of the car forward and quickly too. Or if they are using Battery based KERS system, move the battery to the nose like Renault probably have, or else their rear end will be dragging like a truck and destroying the rear tyres.

  71. Thanks for that Martin

  72. Ok, it seems to me like Ferrari, BMW did make proper testing. Brawn is just getting lot of buzz. It could be a game on their site to make other teams go berserk in testing and in that manner to “panic” trying some new stuff without having this planned before (loosing time). It is just light thinking and I have no experience as a F1 team mate like most of us giving comments here. Hey all…it is beautiful sport.

  73. David Woodhead
    18th March 2009, 11:45

    I have an idea to increase advertising space..It`s copyright so if you use it I expect some payment…..At the correct location on the car, place decals in “mirror writing” at the correct perspective, so that every time the “in Car” camera is broadcast…your sponsors logo is seen twice, in the mirrors at each side of the car…It`s so simple I am amazed that only I have thought of it

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